Leading Bus operator Metroline has launched its first electric bus outside of London today. The new zero emission single-deck bus on the Route PB1 has entered into service, operating from Metroline’s Potters Bar Bus Garage, and will play a key role in the county’s drive towards a cleaner, greener, healthier Hertfordshire.

The new electric bus was decided upon as part of Metroline’s renewed agreement with Hertfordshire County Council to continue to operate the Route PB1 in Potters Bar and the surrounding area.  Metroline’s industry leading credentials as the operator of London’s most environmentally friendly fleet which already includes 90 electric vehicles and 20 hydrogen powered vehicles, makes them uniquely positioned to launch Hertfordshire’s first fully electric route.

First launched in 1977, Route PB1 is an essential route for the people of Potters Bar. Starting and terminating at Potters Bar railway station, the route is a highly important one for many of the residents in the Potters Bar area, allowing easy access for all and those without any cars or other means of transport to travel independently. The route has 32 stops with a total duration of just under 30 minutes, serving the High Street with access to local shopping, doctor’s surgery and other amenities.

The new bus was delivered by Optare, an award-winning British manufacturer known for their lightweight Metrodecker series of double deck buses, based in Yorkshire, and who previously supplied Metroline with their double deck electric buses for the route 134. The bus is Optare’s first single deck electric vehicle; built to order, it is a versatile and lightweight model able to seat up to 24 passengers and well suited to serving the community of Potters Bar. The bus has a forecast range of at least 150 miles on a single charge.

The bus is charged by the same power supplies that serve the other electric buses at Potters Bar garage, with charging taking place during the night and other periods of low local demand in order to ensure the garage’s energy demand remains moderate. As the UK’s reliance on renewable energy increases, the environmentally friendly credentials and sustainable benefits of all electric buses will continue to increase.

Speaking about the launch of the bus, Andrew Hunter, Group Performance & Commercial Development Director, Metroline, said: “We are delighted to be launching our first electric bus outside of London into service on the Route PB1. As our first electric bus on Hertfordshire’s roads, we are proud Metroline is able to play a role in making the county more environmentally friendly, and helping to keep the air clean for our customers and residents. Over the last three years we have been industry leaders in electric and hydrogen vehicles, and our engineering teams are experienced in working with zero-emissions, pollution free vehicles, and are confident in maintaining a high quality electric experience for our customers who use the route.